Thursday, September 21, 2017

Clinic Day

Just a quick post about my clinic appointment today.


I've been feeling really good, CF-wise, the last couple of months. A few weeks ago I was having some sinus issues, but I'm not sure if it was a cold or just allergies/change of weather. Whatever it was, thankfully it didn't stick around long and didn't get into my lungs. 

Today's appointment went well. As usual, I dreaded the three hour drive to Chicago (and would be okay never going to the city again if it wasn't for my amazing doctor). I made good time and was even called back right at my scheduled appointment time. I was a little nervous to do my PFTs today because when I was about this pregnant with the twins and did PFTs, I'm convinced it played a part in what set things in motion into their labor about a week or two later. Either way, this is a different pregnancy and I'm feeling completely different - in a good way. My lung function is stable at 85% today, which I was glad to see, but not surprised. My weight is slowly, steadily increasing. Doctor said I looked and sounded really good, and honestly, there wasn't really much to talk about this time around. I'll be going back in three months...and hopefully then again after I have Little Brother (even though I know she'll want to see me again). Overall, it was a successful clinic day and I'm glad that my body and lungs are cooperating with this pregnancy! 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

16 & 17 Weeks

Thursday, August 31 - 16 weeks
We're 16 weeks along in this journey and I cannot wait for my doctor's appointment this afternoon!


It's been almost 5 weeks since my last appointment, and it's been 8 weeks since my last ultrasound! Today I have a feeling of excitement for my appointment, and that feels a lot better than nerves and anxiety. I haven't had any terrible dreams in the last couple weeks, although we are approaching the timing in my pregnancy when I started getting uncomfortable and having issues. I really don't like comparing the pregnancies, because carrying two babies is completely different than carrying one, but it was so recent, it's hard not to compare sometimes.

I've been feeling so good lately, pregnancy wise, though. Sometimes, I don't feel like I'm pregnant at all, which is wonderful. Of course I have some groin and low uterus stretching when getting up after I've been sitting/laying for a while, but I know that's perfectly normal for this gestational age. I have very normal energy level -- considering how exhausted I am from back to school and starting my masters, I'd say that I've been feeling really good.

At my last appointment, they told me at 16 weeks they'd start checking my cervix to monitor it for any changes. Today, we start that. It's a little nerve-wrecking to watch for your cervix to begin failing, and hoping for the best, but going off of the way my body's been feeling, I think we'll be in the clear today. I should be going back every two weeks until 24 weeks, which is what they told me last time. I don't know what's so significant about 24 weeks, but we'll see what they say today. I just can't wait to look at that screen and see Little Brother's body moving all around, look at his face developing and just watch him for a little bit - soak it in, realize that this is really happening again.

Update after appointment: It was SO good to see you, little brother!! The ultrasound tech and I were both surprised to see that you were basically folded in half today! I can't imagine you're that squished yet, but maybe you just like to fold up -- just like Anna did. You looked good. We were able to watch you move your arms and legs a lot, wave, open and close your mouth, and just wiggle all around. It was also confirmed today that you are indeed a boy. It was so reassuring to see all of your fingers and toes, your beautiful little face and perfectly growing body.

My cervix is holding up very well. They don't want it to be under 2.5 and mine was measuring a 5, so I was (and doctors were) very pleased. I'll be going every two weeks for an ultrasound to check my cervix, placenta, and fluid around baby. This will end at 24 weeks because technically then baby will be "viable", so placing a cerclage (stitch closing the cervix) is not seen as effective at this gestational age - this is what was explained to me this afternoon. I'm hoping that everything continues to go well.

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my mind around bringing home another baby. It just feels very surreal. I think I'm still struggling to really accept that we'll be having another child in our house later this winter because I'm still afraid to get my hopes up. I see my growing belly. I saw him moving all around today. I'm slowly starting to feel the beginning flutters. But I still had to tell myself at the ultrasound today, "that's my child". I feel like I'm on the outside looking into someone else being pregnant. It sounds weird to put it into words - I don't know how to explain it. Of course I'm excited to have another baby, but I still have this fear in the back of my mind that we won't be bringing him home.

Friday, September 8th - 17w, 1d
Hey little brother! It's been a week since your appointment and just another week until I'll see you again. It's a good feeling knowing that I'm going so often right now. This was about the time I started to feel off and funky with the twins, so it's really reassuring to feel so normal right now. I really cannot complain about this pregnancy at all.
Your little flutters are becoming a little more noticeable, although still few and far between. I'm excited for when they get stronger so Daddy and Anna can feel them - I think Anna's going to love that!

Daddy and I have started talking about names for you. We have a couple ideas, but nothing that we absolutely love yet. We plan to keep your name a secret until you're born - most likely because it won't be decided on til then anyway!
We also bought you a new stroller this last weekend. We were up visiting friends and we all went to Buy, Buy, Baby and they had a nice stroller on clearance for super cheap. We took it back to our friends' place to see if we liked it and we did. We got such a good deal. So now we'll plan on selling Anna's old car seat/stroller combo so that we can get you a new car seat that fits in with this type of stroller. Your closet is full of stuff - diapers, wipes, clothes, toys, books, etc. I'm getting excited to start working (watching Daddy work) on your room. Hopefully once things settle down for him at work he'll be able to start spending time on it.

Monday, September 11 - 17 w, 4d
Not too much to update here. I've been feeling really good the past few days. I haven't felt much movement from you, but I know it's still early. I'm really looking forward to my appointment on Thursday. It's just an ultrasound - no doctor visit. Just looking forward to more good news.
Daddy, Anna and I went to Hobby Lobby this weekend to try to get some ideas for your bedroom. They had some cute stuff that gave us a few ideas, but nothing set in stone yet. Daddy has a lot to do in your room before we can even think to start decorating. I can't believe we're almost half way through this pregnancy already. It feels like it's flying by! I know February is going to be here before we know it.

Wednesday, September 13 - 17w, 6d
I've started to have a fear creep slowly back into my thoughts over the last day or so. I'm terrified that when I go for my ultrasound tomorrow that you aren't going to be moving. I'm so afraid that you won't have a heart beat.
Physically, I've been feeling just fine and I have had no signs of issues, but something is making me really nervous. I don't know if it's because things are finally starting to settle down with work, school, home, etc., so I'm thinking about you more often. I don't know if it's because we're just getting closer to the day when the twins were born (19w, 4d), or the anniversary of when Alayna died. There's a lot of sadness approaching and I guess I'm just expecting something else to go wrong, too.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

14 & 15 Weeks


Saturday, August 26 - 15w, 2d
Little brother, I already feel like you've got the "second child syndrome" where we're forgetting about you....don't worry, I think about you every single day! But finding time to write to you during the first couple weeks of school has been really hard! That picture above is already over a week old and I feel like I've grown a little more since then. You're about 4 inches long now, according to my app, and can bend your arms and legs now.

I swear I have felt you move a couple times over the last week, especially last night. I could have sworn you were flailing your arms & legs temper-tantrum style for a couple seconds yesterday evening. Either that, or it was just a ton of gas bubbles at once (doubt it). It's mostly been tiny little flickers here and there which I'm not 100% sure are from you, but I tell myself they are because it's reassuring to me.

I am really looking forward to seeing you on the ultrasound next week! I haven't been able to see you since you were eight weeks along (and you looked like a blob), so I'm very excited to see how developed you are and to see your little face! I'll now be going every two weeks from 16-24 weeks so the doctors can monitor my cervix. I'm very glad that I haven't been having any weird or strange feelings/symptoms. We're approaching that time in my pregnancy where it started happening with the twins, so I'll definitely be on high alert over the next month or so! I can definitely tell you're growing though because my belly is finally starting to get hard (it's been a CF belly for a while) and I've been experiencing stretching and groin pain from my expanding uterus. I know these are good things, but I worry about having the discomfort so low again. It just brings back lots of memories from this past winter. I'm guessing I just carry my babies low - which is good for my lungs, but makes me nervous that you're too low....not quite yet, but as you grow bigger and start putting pressure down there.

In other news, I've been feeling pretty good. I'm getting ready to start Cayston back up again next week which should help give my lungs a boost for my appointment at the end of September. School is overwhelming at this time of the year, but it always is. I'm also beginning my Master's degree (something I never thought I'd do), so that's putting some added stress on my plate. But, I've got a great local support system and when it's over, it'll be an amazing feeling of accomplishment.

Friday, August 18, 2017

12 & 13 Weeks



Friday, August 4 - 12w, 1d
One more day!! Tomorrow everyone will be finding out about you and your cousin during Anna's birthday party.

Saturday, August 5 - 12w, 2d
This is it, folks! Anna's third birthday party day is here and people will be finding out about two more babies entering our family this winter, very soon! I didn't sleep the best and I'm tired already (it's only 11:30am), but I know we're going to have a fun afternoon. Anna is very excited that it's "party day" and what she thinks is her birthday. I put her down for a nap a bit ago hoping that she'll get a little sleep before the exciting afternoon, but I can hear her playing in her bed, so we'll see how that works out. Hopefully she'll crash. Well, I'll update more this evening!! :-)

Thursday, August 10 - 13 weeks
Things have been so busy that I haven't written in a while. We celebrated Anna's birthday on Saturday, announced this pregnancy that evening, then recovered from the party basically the rest of the weekend. Everyone was so surprised (mostly surprised about Elise!!) at the party about your announcement. Grandma and Shirley were a little suspicious because Anna's been talking about "the baby" at Grandma's lately, so they were waiting. Grandma is also very excited to have two little babies again later this winter. I am so excited for these two cousins to grow up together as Anna and Liam have. :)

OHH, how could I forget, we found out if you're a boy or girl on Monday!! I can't wait to share! I was planning on sharing on Anna's birthday, but decided to hold it in just a little bit longer. Maybe on the first day of school next week. :)

It's been nice having people know about this pregnancy. It's nice to have the support of other people and to not have to hide my growing belly. I've been feeling really good lately and my stress level has been manageable over the last week or so, which has been really nice.

Tuesday, August 15 - 13w, 5d
We're starting to get back into the school grind.  Yesterday was my first day back and Anna's Open House. Daddy was able to take her to drop off her supplies and meet her teacher. She loved it! I've got a very large class this  year, 27, double what I had last year. It's going to be tough, but I know we'll make it work.

Sunday night into Monday I had a dream, again (this is my second one), that you were born too early. When I have dreams like that, it takes me a long time to fall back asleep because I just keep thinking about all of the "what-ifs". I had myself convinced at 2:30 that morning that later in the day I was going to call MFM and schedule an extra appointment to check on you for my own sanity, but by the time I got up for the day and was distracted by work, I felt a lot better and never called MFM. I really don't think these feelings of anxiety will ever go away, although I'm glad they are few and far between, for now. I'm guessing as we approach 19-20 weeks, when I lost the twins, I'll be having a few more worries, but for now I'm going to just keep going day by day.
I've been feeling pretty good, although I think you've grown a bit this last week because I'm feeling some stretching and I feel a little bigger. I feel a little pop or flick every now and then, and I'm sure it's gas, but I let myself think it's you, just to reassure me that you're moving and grooving in there. :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Back to School

Happy first day of school from Daddy, Mommy, Anna and little brother! :-)
We survived the first day of school!!! Anna had her first day of preschool and I began my sixth year of teaching. I'm so glad Tim was able to take the day off and bring Anna on her first day...even though I was sad it wasn't me. Tim said she walked right up to her teacher in the lobby when she called her name and walked down the hall with all of the other kids without looking back. What a big girl!!


As soon as I was out of school, I rushed home so I could go with Tim to pick her up. We pulled around and she was trying so hard not to smile huge when she saw us ready to get her - it was so cute! Her assistant got her into the car, buckled her, told us how sweaty she got today and that she had a good day. :) It took her a minute when she got in the car, but once I got Anna talking, she talked for a long time! She was SO excited! She told me about school, she told me about her imaginary friend, and absolutely anything she could think of, she was just so happy.
We decided to celebrate this big day with some ice cream from Krekel's after. :) Anna enjoyed a strawberry cone with sprinkles, and Tim & I split a chocolate. She played outside for a little while this evening, ate dinner, took a bath, read some stories and was in bed by 8:00pm. She's been so tired this week because she's been getting up early, that I'm curious to see how late she sleeps in this weekend!

Highlights from Anna's day:

  • Wearing her new school shoes (even without socks, oops!)
  • Cold water - she was "so, so sweaty"
  • She found a Bubble Guppies book in her classroom and read it
  • The teacher read a "school book" and "pirate book" 
  • There were "ten kids in my classroom" 
  • Our neighbor asked Anna how her day went and she replied, "Great!" 
  • She told me all about how they got cold water in cups without lids. She drank it "carefully and slowly". Then she threw the cup in the garbage and washed her hands, but the soap wouldn't work at first. 
  • She sat on the carpet that had a pattern on it

Overall, I think she had a wonderful first day. She's excited to go back tomorrow! I am so happy that she had such a positive experience today. 

On my end, I had a pretty good day, too. 23 of my 27 students showed up today, so that was kind of nice. The students were all very excited to see each other and were a bit chatty, but they seem to be a good group. I'm excited to see how this school year unfolds - my partner and I have some cool ideas for this year. :) 

Anna and I are both completely exhausted, but I'm sure we'll both have a great next two days. I am looking forward to sleeping in this weekend and relaxing. Every year I forget how stressful and exhausting the beginning of the year is, but it's also so exciting and fun to start over with a brand new class. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

10 & 11 Weeks

Friday, July 21 - 10w, 1 d
Here you can see my day-to-day belly
Ten weeks, it's hard to believe. I feel like summer just began. I feel like we just went through IVF. It also means that we're just two weeks out from spilling the beans about you, little bean, and your cousin! Although, around town, I haven't really been hiding it physically. Some of our friends know, and the most important people will find out your sister's birthday party, so who cares if people in town know - who are they going to tell?

This picture is cuter, but makes me look bigger than I am
Third pregnancy + CF belly + previously pregnant with twins = Big belly already (especially since I'm still in my first trimester). I don't care anymore. I'm just embracing it. I'm hoping that'll make me realize that this is real. 

I decided to do our belly pictures in front of your room. Then throughout the progression of the pregnancy, we can also see the progression of your room coming together. As you can see, right now it's a HOT mess, but this was taken yesterday. Since then I've taken all of my school stuff to my classroom yesterday, and took all of our left over garage sale stuff to charity today, so it's already a little clearer. Daddy has a lot of work to do, but we've got time. :)

Monday, July 24 - 10w, 4d
I've been feeling really good over the last few days. There are still some things that don't smell or look appetizing sometimes, but if I remember correctly, that's going to happen for a while. Other than that, I've been doing well. I'm working on keeping my sugars in check, which sometimes I'm better about than others.

I think deciding to do the pictures in front of your room, plus Anna's upcoming birthday party, really has motivated Daddy to start working on your room. We're going to move my desk to the basement, my treatments into the living room, and the butcher block table to either the shed or the basement. Once we do that, we can focus on your room. We (and by we, I really mean Daddy) need to removed the popcorn from the ceiling and fix the bulge/crack. Then we're going to add the same type of ceiling that's in Anna's room (white-washed something, I can't remember what it's called - that's been happening a lot lately). Daddy will also have to drywall over where the doorway used to be to the kitchen. He also wants to add access to the attic through your room, but it'll be closed off for now. Then comes the painting, decorating and organizing. He'll be quite busy, but I'm excited to see it several months from now! :) 

Tuesday, July 25 - 10w, 5d
I am getting really sick of these progesterone shots! Daddy's been giving me one every night for exactly two months now. My skin has been super sensitive to everything since getting pregnant, so it gets really irritated if I leave a band-aid on for too long. My right side has been bleeding a lot after the last few times, and my left side is itchy and irritated. We're getting so close to being done, I hope. The fertility clinic said August 4th (next Friday!) would be my last one, but I'll be double checking with MFM on Monday.

Sunday, July 30 - 11w, 3d
My appointment is tomorrow afternoon and I'm getting nervous & excited. I know that you'll start to look slightly more baby-like and I'm excited for Anna to see you. I don't think the nerves before each appointment will ever go away.

Monday, July 31 - 11w, 4d
Just got back from my doctors appointment. We did not have an ultrasound today, but we (Anna and I) were able to hear your heart beat through the Doppler. It was a nice, strong 180bpm and the nurse said that you were moving around a lot. She had to keep searching for you - she'd get your heart beat and then you'd move! It was reassuring the hear your heart beat, twice, as well as the nurse telling me that everything sounded great. She could hear some little bumps that she said was from you moving around, too. I'm glad you're active and I can't wait until I can start feeling it myself.

Today, I also got my blood drawn to check for chromosomal abnormalities. This is also the test that will tell us your gender! I was really hoping we'd have the results by Saturday to add in with our pregnancy announcement, but the results take 7-10 days to get back, so we'll find out next week. That's still exciting and I can't wait to know.

I forgot to ask about when I can stop my progesterone, so luckily I have one of the doctor's cell phone numbers - I just texted her to ask. The fertility clinic told me August 4 (this Friday) would be my last day, but I wanted to double check with MFM.

She just texted me back & I can stop on Friday, woo hoo!! Daddy's going to be so excited, too. That means, he's done 70 progesterone injections (and I've done one) since May 25th!!

I go back to the doctor in a month, at 16 weeks, but from there they will check me every two weeks, from 16-24 weeks to make sure that nothing is happening with my cervix. She said that since I didn't make it to 20 weeks with the twins, it's technically considered a miscarriage, but they're going to treat it like a previous preterm labor because it basically was. So they're going to be extra cautious and check me every two weeks for a while to make sure my cervix doesn't show any signs of shortening or opening. If it does, then there are options, but hopefully we won't have any issues -- but it's nice to know that they're planning on seeing me a lot and they were so nice today about telling me to call WHENEVER and if I ever have questions or issues.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

8 & 9 Weeks

Thursday, July 6 - 8 weeks
Anna and I got to see you today, little Bean! You pretty much just looked like a blob, but I saw your flickering heart and heard that beautiful sound. Your heart rate was 172bpm which is completely normal and you are measuring right on track. :)
My right ovary is still pretty swollen and has a couple cysts, but they said that's okay and I need the hormones from them to help support the pregnancy. I haven't been having any pain on my right side that I've noticed, so I'll have to keep that in mind over the next few weeks to see if I notice any pain/discomfort.
Even with seeing you today, I still feel anxious and a little stressed out. Today's appointment was reassuring, but it's like as soon as it was over, I started getting stressed for the next one, or what could happen in between. I feel like I'm going to be this way for the rest of the pregnancy. I know I just need to embrace this pregnancy, but it's hard. I'm so afraid something is going to go wrong.

Monday, July 10 - 8w, 3d
I've been having more typical pregnancy symptoms lately, which makes me think you're a boy even more. Looking back at first trimester posts from when I was pregnant with Anna and then the twins, I had similar feelings with the twins and basically zero symptoms with Anna.
I've been having more feelings of nausea throughout the day, and each day is different. Friday and Saturday, I felt pretty gross all day - nothing sounded good, but if I didn't eat, then I felt worse. Or after I ate I would feel like I might get sick. I haven't thrown up yet, but the nauseous feeling lingering around isn't fun either. I'm also very exhausted still. Sometimes I'll be tired enough to take a nap (like I did on Saturday at Chris & Sammy's), but other times my body just feels tired. Today and yesterday I've had lots of gas and bloating which is never fun. Of course I know that I should try to eat better, but sometimes I just eat what I can....and then feel sick after eating it.

It all sounds rough and miserable, but I really shouldn't be complaining. All of these symptoms are actually a little reassuring because I know they're normal in pregnancy and it means that my body is just reacting to the developing baby inside me. And after talking with a couple other CF moms, the bloating and exhaustion could be a symptom of the progesterone injection Tim gives me each night. According to the fertility clinic, my last day for those is August 4th. I'll double check with my MFM team at my next appointment (July 31), but its nice to see an end in sight.

Wednesday, July 19 - 9w, 6d
It's been an uneventful week in the baby-world over here. The nausea spurts are getting fewer and farther between and my exhaustion is manageable without a nap lately, but I'm still having some food aversions sometimes (I'm pretty sure that will last the whole pregnancy).
Starting last Thursday, at 9 weeks, I started checking my blood sugars. I know they're going to start asking me to do it soon, so I figure I might as well start. I've been doing pretty well, but my fasting has been over 100 and my dinners are usually a little high, so I have to work on those. But I can already tell what a huge difference in the management between one baby and twins! When I was pregnant with the twins, my blood sugars were constantly all over the place. This week, they've been about what I expect, so it's definitely less stressful and more manageable.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

3 Years Old!!!

Anna, today (Aug 8) you are THREE years old!

  • You've gone from calling me Mommy, to Momma, and now Mom. It's weird, but cute. You've also started called Daddy, "Dad" the last couple weeks. Sometimes it varies, but it's fun to hear what comes out of your mouth.
  • You are so sassy! It started a few weeks ago and man, is it exhausting! Bedtime is the worst of it, but sometimes you just love to pick a fight. You're developing a little attitude when you talk sometimes & we are surprised, again, to hear the things that come out of your mouth...
  • You talk A LOT! It's fun listening to you tell stories about your "friend" who is always named something silly & is a boy, and all of the cool things they've done. Your imagination is huge and I love that about you. You are really good at holding a conversation, too. 
  • You love to be outside. You don't care if its 100 degrees or 70 degrees. You don't care if it's raining, or buggy, or windy. If you're outside, you're happy. You love to dig in the dirt, get dirty, do whatever Daddy is doing, ride your bike and your scooter, climb on anything/everything, play at the park, and follow Berkley around everywhere. Probably about 99% of the time, you're "walking barefooting" as you call it. The bottoms of your feet have often been black all summer long and you typically have at least 10 mosquito bites all over your body. (You obviously get these qualities from your Daddy, not me!)
  • You are currently obsessed with the movie, Trolls. When we first started watching it, we'd have dance parties because we all loved the music so much. Then you got to the point when you wanted to watch it every single time I did my treatments. It's getting a bit old, but you got the soundtrack for your birthday, so I'm sure we'll be jamming to that in the car for a while. 
  • You know most of your letters, can count to twelve (then you say 18, 19, 20, 21). We haven't been working on it as intensely lately because I know that you just pick up on it as it's introduced to you. You can also write your first name as AnnA. 
  • You still love to read and insist on reading a book before nap and bedtime every day. We just got a bunch of new Usborne books from Aunt Katrina's parties, so I'm excited to read all of those with you! You also love going to the library and picking random books off the shelf for us to bring home - we've found some really good ones...and really bad ones :) 
  • You're starting preschool in exactly eight days! I am SO excited for you because I really think you're going to love it! Now that you're finally three, you know that you're going to preschool soon and are getting excited, too. 
  • You're going to be a big sister, again! I cannot wait to see you interact with Rainbow Bean when it's born! You are going to be an amazing big sister! 
  • You are 36.5" tall and weigh in at 26 lbs, which means you've grown 3.5 inches and have gained almost 5lbs since turning two! The doctor is very pleased with your growth and I am, too!
You have developed such a personality over this last year. You love your friends and family, and get crazy/silly around those you're comfortable with. Your sass comes out when you're tired and typically put up some kind of fight (or a million excuses) at bedtime. You're an outdoor girl, which Daddy loves, but you're also a little bookworm and love to read & color, which I love. I really think you're the perfect mix of Daddy and I's personalities. I'm so excited to see you flourish in preschool this year. I hope you make friends, are nice to others, listen to the teacher, have lots of fun, and of course, learn so much! I love, and always will (even when you're a difficult teenager), your independence. It makes me happy to see that you have confidence to do things on your own. Even today, you insisted on taking your own shower, so I walked you through step-by-step on how to wash your hair & body. You are little growing up right in front of our eyes, little peanut, and you make us SO proud! We love you so much!! :-) 

Monday, August 7, 2017

6 & 7 Weeks

Saturday, June 24 - 6w, 2d
I went to my CF appointment on Thursday and told Dr. Dowell about you. I hadn't seen her since we lost your brothers (She said "The rug wasn't pulled out from under you, the whole floor was."), so it was pretty emotional for both of us. We had a nice little hug and cry together as I talked about how nervous I am to be pregnant again. We both agreed that hopefully with it just being one little baby it should be better on my body. She encouraged me to start exercising, even if it's just walking, to help with some stress and to help my lungs and body to prepare for a growing baby, and eventually, labor. 

I called the MFM team yesterday to try to schedule my next appointment, but they won't even consider it, even though I've been there in the past, until the get a referral. So I had to call the fertility clinic and they called a referral into MFM for me in the afternoon. I'll try to call again on Monday to hopefully get something scheduled within the next week or two. I just want to see that you're in there - with a tiny little body and a beautiful beating heart.

Thursday, June 29 - 7 weeks
One more week until we see you little Bean! The high risk clinic won't see me until we have a viable heart beat, so I'm heading back to the fertility clinic for another ultrasound next Thursday. You'll be eight weeks along then, so I'm excited to see how big you are already.

The last few days, I've had a feeling that you're a boy and I'm not sure why. I just can't picture you as a girl. It might be because I was expecting two little boys last time, but I'm not sure. Speaking of, yesterday was my "due date" with the twins. Now, I don't know any twin moms who actually carry their babies til 40 weeks, but it was still a little hard to see the words "Due date!" written on the calendar. I have a lot of mixed emotions being pregnant again. I have a hard time believing that I am pregnant because I haven't seen/heard your heart beat, but also because I'm afraid of getting attached and losing you, too.

I've still been pretty tired, but haven't taken a nap since Sunday. Yesterday and today I had a little bit of a queasy/nauseous feeling every now and then (like when brushing my teeth), but nothing too terrible. I had this with the twins, too, so I think that's maybe why I'm thinking you're a boy.

I cannot wait to tell everyone. As much as I don't want the summer to fly by, I can't wait to spill the beans at Anna's birthday party! And it's going to be double the surprise when they find out Elise is pregnant, too, and that we're only ten days apart! :) I hope that once everyone knows it'll help make it feel more real for me, too.

Tuesday, July 4 - 7w, 5d
Still feeling exhausted, but not tired enough to nap. It's like my body is just tired. I've had more food aversions this week. Things aren't sounding good and I'm having to make myself eat sometimes, not feeling hungry very often. I'm still thinking you're a boy, but while I was looking in the baby name book yesterday, I made sure to jot down a couple girl names I like, just in case. These little symptoms are reassuring me that you're growing and developing. Two more days and we'll be able to see you, finally!

Wednesday, July 5 - 7w, 6d
I'm 29 years old today! Mama's feeling old! I'm so anxious for my appointment tomorrow. Again, I'm just worried that something is going to be wrong and I don't think that feeling is going to go away until you're safely, full term, in my arms.
Daddy got me your baby book, a monthly picture frame like Anna has, and a picture frame for your ultrasound pictures that says "We love you already" today for my birthday. I didn't know whether to cry or get excited. I can't bring myself to fully embrace this pregnancy yet because I haven't seen you, so hopefully tomorrow a little weight will be lifted off of my shoulders. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

4 & 5 Weeks

Friday, June 9 -  10 days post-transfer, 4 weeks pregnant?
Wow! I can't believe our first round of IVF worked! This morning I had my first blood draw to see if I am pregnant. Dr. Loret De Mola called me, with Jim the embryologist and some nurses on speaker, and told me, "You're going to be a mommy again!" I was shaking and so excited! My level was 188 and he said that everything looks great! He wants to me continue the progesterone shots and come back Tuesday for a follow-up blood test to make sure that my HCG levels are increasing appropriately.

It's weird because I don't feel pregnant, so I think it's going to take some time for it to really sink in - I can't wait for our first ultrasound! This pregnancy is going to be completely different than my last two. Judging by my levels, we've got one little peanut growing in there - thank goodness! That immediately gives me some reassurance because I know that I can and have carried one baby successfully to term. The part that worries me is my cervix. Is it going to permanently have issues because of what happened with the twins? Or is it a pregnancy by pregnancy issue and it'll be completely fine? Of course I won't know the answer to these questions until much further on, but they're already on my mind.

I will try my best to take it easy, but sometimes that's difficult with an almost 3 year old at home. I've been on lifting restrictions for the last ten days and that's been really hard. I wasn't supposed to lift over 20 lbs. Luckily Anna's a tiny little thing and is only about 24lbs, but telling her I can't lift her was sad, and of course, there were times when I just needed to. Tim was excellent about doing things for her so that I wasn't straining myself. I feel like I should keep those restrictions on myself until/unless I'm told otherwise. I am going to be picking apart every little symptom and feeling for the next nine months, but if it brings us a healthy baby, then it'll be 100% worth it.

I just want to shout to the whole world that it worked!!! Hopefully soon people will be reading this! :)

Wednesday, June 14 - 4 weeks, 6 days *I think*
Yesterday I went in for repeat blood work to make sure my levels were increasing & they are! I was at 731 yesterday with my progesterone greater than 40 which is excellent! Our first ultrasound is scheduled for a week from today. I'm a little worried that it's going to be too early to see/hear the heart beat, but I hope not.
I still don't feel pregnant at all. My boobs are slowly beginning to get a little tender, but otherwise I've been feeling relatively normal - maybe a little more tired than usual. Tim jokes that I already have "pregnancy brain" any time I mix something up or can't think of a word...I think part of it is just "I'm on summer break and don't want to think-brain".

Friday, June 16 - 5w, 1d
It's been a week since I found out that I'm pregnant and sometimes I forget, but yesterday into today, the fatigue has hit! I was exhausted last night and slept pretty well overnight. I also took a two hour nap this afternoon while Anna was sleeping. I don't remember being this tired with either of my other pregnancies, but they say each one is different. My boobs are definitely not sore yet, but I have felt a little bit of stretching pains now and then. Pretty much nothing out of the ordinary except feeling like my energy is gone today! Thank goodness Anna is pretty good at entertaining herself, but I still feel bad that I don't feel like doing anything. Hopefully this doesn't last long.

Today's "issue" (which isn't really an issue) is continuing my progesterone. I'll be on it through my first trimester, through my 12th week, which means 7 more weeks to go. I can either continue with my one evening injection which is much less expensive, but makes us feel like we have a "curfew" at night because it has to be given at the same time each night and we've been doing 8:30. Or, I can do the vaginal suppositories, which I was on when I was pregnant with Anna. They're kind of gross, but can be done twice a day (morning/night) without such strict time restrictions. The problem with those is that they're expensive! I just picked up 15 doses, which would be 7.5 days worth, for $40! I'm not sure that I want to pay $40 a week for the next seven weeks... Right now I'm having the fertility clinic call it into my mail order pharmacy to see if I'll be able to get a larger quantity or lower copay (or both). If not, I might just continue with the injections because they are way less expensive. We'll see what pans out over the next few days. Right now I'm going to continue the injections, I have ten left, until we hear from the mail order pharmacy.

Monday, June 19 - 5w, 4d
Holy fatigue! Friday, yesterday, and today I've taken a nap when Anna takes hers. Thankfully she's been sleeping for around two hours each day, so I've been able to get in a nice nap, too. I'm taking this as a good sign that our little Bean is developing as he/she should. :) I can't wait to see him/her on Wednesday!

Wednesday, June 21 - 5w, 6d
Today's the day we get to see our little bean and I'm so nervous. I'm so afraid something is going to be wrong, or there isn't going to be a baby there. I imagine this is what it's going to be like for the next nine months before doctor appointments...Of course the appointment isn't until 2:30, so we have a lot of time to waste this morning.

Yesterday Anna and I went shopping at Target and she wanted to get the baby some clothes. She picked out a pink Superman onsie (so they can match) and I grabbed a blue one, so we have those ready to share when we find out what this baby is. Anna is very excited already. She pats my belly sometimes and talks about the baby in my belly. I told her that we're going to see it today and a few days ago she asked, "I can hold the baby?!" I explained that we have to wait for the baby to grow really big ("like me?" - not that big) before it comes out and we can hold it.

Evening update: We were able to see the sac surrounding baby and the yolk sac, but the baby was too small to see or hear a heart beat (she said just smaller than 3mm). As soon as she put the ultrasound thing in, Anna said, "Aww, there's the baby" even though she had no idea what she was looking at and it wasn't on the screen. It was cute and I'm excited to take her to future ultrasounds so she can watch Bean grow. I was right about how far along I am, and the nurse and doctor reassured us that everything looks wonderful for this gestational age. They weren't surprised that we couldn't see the heart beat, but the doctor is going to be gone next week so he wanted to see all of his IVF patients before he leaves.
The nurse originally said they wanted to see me back in two weeks to confirm a heart beat, but the doctor told me I'm welcome to go see my high-risk team now. Since I'm going to Chicago for my CF appointment tomorrow, I'll probably contact my high-risk team on Friday to see when the soonest I can get in. I'm anxious and excited to get back to that team. I love them and I'm hopeful that they'll do everything they can to help ease my stress during this pregnancy. I feel slightly reassured after today's appointment, but I'm still a little stressed because we couldn't hear the baby. I was so nervous throughout the whole appointment, but the doctor and nurse assured us several times that everything looks perfectly normal. For now, I just go day by day until I have another appointment scheduled.

I'm looking forward to seeing my CF doctor tomorrow. I didn't get to see her in April, so we haven't really discussed losing the boys yet (I did call her the day it happened, but we haven't fully talked about it). She know we're going through the IVF process, but she doesn't know I'm pregnant. I'm excited to tell her. :) Tomorrow I'll be six weeks. It seems like I've known for so much longer and that I should be further along, but that's what happens when you find out at 4 weeks!

Our Infertility Journey: Round Three, Part Three

Click here for Part One

Click here for Part Two

Thursday, May 25 - Retrieval Day
It's the morning of retrieval and I'm getting so excited to see how many eggs they're able to get today! I haven't really thought about the fact that I'll be sedated and having a procedure, that hasn't really made me nervous yet. I'm just so anxious to see how the next three-five days go, and I'm already looking forward to the transfer. :)

PM update: Well my nerves set in pretty much as soon as we got there. We arrived a few minutes early, but they were waiting for us and took us back immediately. They had me take a pill, then set up my IV. The woman who did it was fantastic and got me in the elbow crack on the first poke. :) They had me change into a gown and told Tim to put XXL "scrubs" over his clothes - he looked hilarious! We both had to wear the hairnets and booties, then they brought us back. When they laid me on the table, they hooked up a blood pressure cuff, O2 monitor on my finger, put an O2 canal in my nose and that's when I started getting nervous because I was about to be knocked out. They wheeled me back into the procedure room next door and had Tim stay in the recovery room, but he was able to watch what they were doing on the TV.

I remember when they wheeled me in the fertility doctor said, "you ready?" and I said, "this is kind of intimidating!" and he calmly said,"no, you'll be fine". Then the nurse explained that she was going to be right by my head and that if I open my eyes during the procedure, I might see her and hear them all talking. Then she started putting the meds into my IV and I kind of remember them saying, "is she still awake?". During the procedure, I remember hearing the doctor count, "9, 10" and then later I felt some pressure/cramping and heard him say "14"...then I was out again.

After they were done, I kind of remember waking up and them making me stumble (with their help) back into the recovery room where I just laid and slept. Tim went to do his part and I didn't want to move when he got back - I was so tired! While I was in recovery, I remember coughing a few times and having a really productive cough, but I just swallowed the mucus because I was too sore to move. I remember asking Tim how many they got, or maybe saying, "did they get 14?" I'm sure I asked him a few times. Finally, I had a few sips of water and Tim helped me get dressed, then they wheeled me out to the car.

After leaving the fertility clinic, I felt kind of nauseous, but just assumed it was because of being sedated. We stopped to get gas and I ended up throwing up. I was trying to text our neighbor who was watching Anna, but I couldn't focus. I just opened the passenger door and threw up on the ground, haha! It was all mucus and water. I think I threw up about 3-4 times, but I felt a lot better after I did. I slept pretty much all of the way home (we were home around 11:30, I think) and wobbled straight to bed. At some point, Anna came in and slept with me for a little while, according to Tim. I don't remember much. I tried to get up and eat around 2:30 or so, but felt like I was going to throw up again, so I just went back to bed and slept til about 5-5:30.

I finally got up, went outside with Tim and Anna for a few minutes, and then just hung out on the couch for the rest of the night. I was able to eat and drink a bit without feeling too sick. I haven't taken any pain meds and don't feel too horrible. I feel kind of crampy, but it's bearable. I'm not allowed to lift anything over 20lbs (Anna) until after my pregnancy test in a couple weeks. And now I'll be anxiously awaiting the call from Jim, the embryologist, tomorrow to see how many of the 14 follicles fertilized and made it through the night.

I also had to start Medrol (pill) until the transfer and also progesterone shots. Those shots are intimidating and I've heard they're awful. They have to be given in the upper, outer butt region, into the muscle by Tim. I was SO nervous that it was going to hurt so bad, especially with him giving it to me instead of me just doing it myself, but he did so good! It didn't hurt as bad as I expected it to, so tomorrow night when he does it, hopefully I won't be shaking like I was tonight!

Friday, May 26
Just got my phone call today and it's good news! Out of the 14 eggs they got yesterday, 10 of them have fertilized into embryos!! The embryologist said that typically 50% of them will make it to day 5 (today being day 1), so we're hoping that we'll have five good embryos on Tuesday. From there, they'll take the best one to implant and freeze any left overs. I'm hoping this weekend goes by quickly and that things go well Tuesday afternoon. :-)

Sunday, May 28
Anxiously awaiting the call about our little embryos!

We have NINE perfect little embryos still going (one looks a bit odd, haha)!! He still thinks that we'll have about five by Tuesday, which will give us a great chance of picking the best of the best to implant and freeze the rest! :) I am SO happy that all of this is going so well! I really have been pretty relaxed over the last couple of weeks because everything has been going the way it should be and that's very reassuring right now.

Monday, May 29
It's been four days since our little embryos became fertilized and started developing. Tomorrow, we'll go in and they'll pick "the best" one to implant in my uterus (and hope there are a few great ones to freeze). About this time in development, the embryo is ready to embed itself into the uterine lining and begin developing even more. I have VERY high hopes that this little bean will stick and thus begins the next worried nine months of my life. I am ready to embark on this pregnancy journey again, no matter what happens. I'm ready for some good news. I'm prepared to worry a lot. I'm ready to finally bring home a baby brother or sister for Anna (which she thinks grows in my belly and then comes out my butt!). We're set to go in for a blood pregnancy test on June 9th, which is two weeks from the first day of fertilization, so I really hope the next week and a half pass by quickly or that I start feeling different soon.

Wednesday, May 31 - One day post-transfer
Just under 24 hours ago, we watched our precious little embryo go from the lab's petri dish, where it's been under great care, into my uterus where we hope it'll begin to develop into a beautiful little fetus. We even got our first ultrasound picture of our tiny little white "speck" after the procedure was done.

The procedure itself was relatively easy. The hardest part was trying not to pee myself! So, directions were to come to the office with a full bladder because....well, I'm not sure why, but I'm a rule-follower. So I tried to hydrate really well in the days leading up to the transfer and drank a lot of Gatorade on the way there. We arrived about a half hour early (again, as they told me to) and I already needed to pee then, but figured I could hold it for 30 minutes. Turns out for some reason the doctor was running late and the procedure didn't begin for an hour and a half after we arrived! I'm sure Tim was tired of listening to me complain about how BAD I had to pee, but it was torture! I ended up asking to go a little bit because I couldn't hold it anymore....it was a very temporary relief.

Anyway, around 1:45ish, they walked us back into the same area as the retrieval. We put on our booties and hairnets and walked into the room where the doctor told us we had a "beautiful embryo". They set up an external ultrasound on my belly while the doctor prepared me. The room was adjacent to the lab, so we literally watched the embryologist put our little embryo under the microscope which projected onto the TV in our room. We were able to see it move around a little bit before he sucked it into the catheter. He handed the catheter through the window joining the rooms, to the doctor who then used the ultrasound to guide the insertion of the embryo way up into my uterus. It was fascinating to watch! And took all of about five minutes! Finally, they emptied my bladder for me (such relief!) and reclined me back in the bed. The pushed the bed into the recovery room where I laid, and Tim sat, for 35 minutes. After that, I was able to get dressed and leave. My only instructions were to take it easy the rest of the day and all of the day today.

I decided to ask Grandma watch Anna today so that I could really take it easy as the doctor told me I should. I'm allowed to resume normal activity tomorrow, but try not to stay on my feet too long and I'm still not allowed to lift over 20lbs. This has been tough because I've never realized how much I pick up Anna during the day - whether it's to help her reach/see something, get in or out of the car or shopping cart, or just when she needs a little snuggle, especially at bedtime. We've explained to her that I can't pick her up right now because I was a little sore (after the transfer) and then that the doctors put a baby in my belly yesterday. Of course she doesn't quite understand what that could mean months from now, but it satisfied her questioning and we've been holding hands to go to bed instead of me carrying her, and she's been really good about letting Tim do more things for her. She's also been talking about me having baby(ies) in my belly since being pregnant with the twins, so this is not really new for her to hear.

Oh, and how could I forget - we have some embryos to freeze! Before the transfer yesterday, the embryologist came to talk with us about our little embryos. He said they chose the best and most mature one to implant yesterday, but that I'd likely have another 3-4 to freeze today. He wanted to let them develop for another day before deciding how many and which ones to freeze, so I'm curious to know how many he chose. I'm excited that we have the possibility of doing this again without having to go through ALL of the steps. He said that frozen transfer would definitely not be as many appointments and that I'd probably be doing an oral medication (not injections) and a patch, along with the progesterone shots leading up to the transfer. This definitely gives me some peace of mind because even if this little bean that's in there now doesn't stick, we have some "back-ups" ready to go. This also makes me excited that we may be able to have more kids down the road. It's been a lot to process over the last few weeks, but I can honestly say that I've had a good experience. I was so nervous before beginning, but it's all been working out so well. I hope that we're able to bring home our rainbow baby in nine months (and no sooner!).

And now we wait until next Friday, and I will soak up every minute with my beautiful baby little girl because we are so lucky to have her! :)

Friday, June 2 - 3 days post-transfer
One more week!! I was very tempted to take a pregnancy test this morning just because, but I restrained myself. I know it's way too early, but maybe Sunday or Monday...haha! I'm not noticing any huge symptoms or signs yet. I am still having some cramping in my uterus area, but that's about it. Oh, and tonight, my face is kind of oily and is breaking out, but that could just be because I was outside all day for our garage sale. I've been trying to take it easy as much as possible and Tim's still giving me my nightly progesterone injection. He's been very helpful around the house and with Anna these last few days.

Sunday, June 4 - 5 days post-transfer
I took a pregnancy test this morning just for the hell of it, but it was negative. It's still pretty early, but I'm getting anxious to know what's going on in there. I wish I was having some kind of physical symptoms, but I guess it's still kind of early for that, too. Hopefully Anna and I can keep busy during the days this week so that Friday will be here quickly.

Monday, June 5 - 6 days post-transfer
Negative again. I keep feeling the sides of my boobs hoping they'll be sore one of these times. I know it's still technically early, but I'm dying over here! I plan to test every day this week up to my blood test Friday morning. I'm sure this is going to be the longest week ever!

Afternoon addition: I've been thinking about that negative test all day! I'm starting to seriously doubt that the IVF worked. Even with a busy day today, it's constantly been on my mind. I just want to feel something, to reassure myself that it's working. But I also need to start considering that it may not have worked, and that we still have 3-4 embryos left to try again.

Tuesday, June 6 - One Week post-transfer
I took two tests this morning around 5am and was extremely disappointed when they looked negative. I laid in bed almost in tears thinking that this really might not work. Around 7, when I got up again, I decided to look at the tests, just to double check. Well, it looked like there might have been the faintest second line ever on them...but it also could have just been an evaporation line because it was two hours later. So I took another test (#3 for the day) and if I hold it in the correct light, I can see a second line. I'm REALLY hoping I'm not going crazy here. Thankfully we have plans all day, so the soonest I'll test again will be this evening. It's been 12 days since fertilization, which is about the earliest I've gotten the second line on my previous pregnancies, so we'll see. I am completely torn.

PM update: I took a fourth test today and there is the lightest second line ever there - even Tim saw it! I'm getting hopeful again...I have seven tests left and two more days until my blood test. I'm sure I'll use every single one of those tests through Friday morning. Let's just hope this line gets progressively darker these next couple days!

Wednesday, June 7 - 8 days post-transfer
The line definitely didn't get darker this morning. I'm making myself a mess obsessing over these little tests. If I really think about it, I'm not feeling any different at all, but I am over-analyzing everything. I feel silly writing this down each day, but I really am making myself go nuts over here. I know I should probably just stop testing and wait for the blood test Friday morning, but I'm so hoping that I will get a decent positive at home first. Right now I'm wondering if this super light second line is just because of the extra progesterone/hormones in my body from the IVF cycle. Just within the last 24 hours I've been down, then up, and now down again - I need to quit doing this to myself, but I just want to be pregnant so bad!!

Thursday, June 8 - 9 days post-transfer
I'm honestly feeling defeated. I have very little hope left. I took a test last night and another this morning and the lines were the same - super faint. It has not gotten any darker since Tuesday morning, so I'm taking that as the pregnancy isn't progressing, kind of similar to what happened after our very first IUI before Anna (when I had a very low number, just enough to register on the test, but then it went down) - that's what I'm guessing will happen. We'll have confirmation tomorrow, but as of right now, I'm expecting them to tell me it hasn't worked. I guess I could be surprised and get some good news, but I'm not counting on it. Right now I'm just trying to remind myself of the positives - that we have some frozen embryos and all summer to keep trying.
I appreciate my friends and sister-in-law who have helped keep me busy this week and have been extremely positive and reassuring as I drive myself crazy over this. It's just been so hard because I feel like we've gotten so close, twice now (the twins and now this), but it's just not working.

Friday, June 9 - 10 days post-transfer
It's darker, people! It's darker! Just between yesterday evening's test and this morning's. MAYBE, just maybe we might have some positive news....I can actually see the second line clearly without having to hold it at a weird angle or in certain light.

I'm back from Springfield and anxiously awaiting my phone call. I told the lady taking my blood that I felt like I was going to throw up because I was so nervous, haha. She said, "I just ask that you don't throw up on me." Then she asked if I cheated - I said, "uh yeah!" And she just laughed.
Even with the darker line this morning, I'm still nervous about the HCG level not being strong enough.

I'm pregnant!!!! My HCG level is 188, which is just one point lower than when I got pregnant with Anna. The fertility doctor was the one who called me (with everyone in the room with him on speaker) at about 11:25 this morning. I was so nervous because not only was he the one that called me, but it was also not the afternoon. This made my heart sink & I told him he was making me nervous! He said, "You're going to be a mommy again!" I almost started crying, my hands were shaking, and I was so happy! It's been a LONG ten days and I was extremely doubtful at times, and Tim was, too. The doctor told me that everything looks great, to keep up with the progesterone shots, and to come back on Tuesday morning for a follow-up blood test. If everything looks good from there, then we'll schedule an ultrasound. YAY!

And now the nerves kind of set in, in a different way. I really, really hope this pregnancy sticks! It's tricky right now because I literally am feeling no different. So to think, "I'm pregnant" still definitely hasn't set in (it's only been two hours) and I think it won't until we see the little baby and hear it's heartbeat. Even still, it's going to be hard to decide when to announce to everyone. I'm going to want to tell everyone immediately, but I know that Tim likes to be a bit more cautious and wait a little longer.

Tuesday, June 13 - Two weeks post-transfer
It's 3:37pm and I'm STILL waiting for the fertility clinic to call me back about my blood draw this morning! I'm currently doing my second set of treatments for the day, and if they don't call by the time I'm done, then I'm calling them!

Wednesday, June 14 - 15 days post-transfer
I called the clinic when I was done with my treatments and they "left a message for the nurse to call me." Probably about ten minutes later, they finally did call. She asked how I was doing, and I told her I was nervous. She said, "No need to be nervous." Woo hoo! My level climbed just as it was supposed to and was now at 731. I asked about my progesterone and she said it was well above 40! :) They'd like me to continue my progesterone injections and then when I'm out of those, I'm going to switch to the vaginal suppositories (same ones I was on when pregnant with Anna), I'm guessing for the first trimester. We have our first ultrasound scheduled for a week from today! I can't wait!

I guess this brings us to the end of Journey #3 - we're officially pregnant. Let's hope that this little bean sticks and makes his/her arrival later this winter. :-)

Saturday, August 5, 2017

August 5th

Today's been a big day for our family!
  • Celebrating Anna's upcoming third birthday
Anna turns three on August 8th, so today we celebrated with our friends and family. I can't believe our little girl is three years old and will be starting preschool in just under two weeks! It was an excellent party and everyone had so much fun!! I love how close Anna is with her cousins and how much fun everyone has together.
  • Today marks six months since I delivered the twins
Six months ago, today, our twin baby boys were born. It hard to wrap my mind around the fact that this much time has gone by already. Sometimes I try to imagine what our life would be like now if they were born full term, but that makes me sad and it's impossible to know how things would have been different. But....we've had some exciting news to focus on the last couple months....
  • Today, we announced at Anna's party that I'm pregnant again with our rainbow baby!! 
Anna will be having a new little brother or sister arrive in February 2018. She will also be having a new baby cousin! Baby cousin is due on the twins' birthday, February 5th, and our rainbow bean is due just ten days later!
This baby is already loved by so many and its arrival is very anxiously awaited by many as well. It's been a different start to pregnancy for me this time around because it's been stressful but exciting to be pregnant again. This time we went through IVF, which was different from Anna and the twins, but we wanted to ensure that we only got pregnant with one baby. There's a lot more detail in my "fertility journey" posts, but I'll just share a little of what is was like this time around with some pictures of the process:

Meds arrived - top box is CF med, bottom box is IVF meds

Everything that was in the box -- a little intimidating at first

Coaching my way through my first couple injections - it took almost 30 just to get pregnant

Here's our little rainbow baby as a 5-day embryo! This is RIGHT before they inserted it into my uterus. 


A HUGE shout-out to Tim for giving me a nightly progesterone shot for 10 weeks! Every single night, from retrieval (May 25th) until yesterday, at 8:30pm, he would give me my dose of progesterone.....right in the booty cheek! He never once complained and was always so good about it!
So if you're keeping count, that's just about 100 injections over the last 12 weeks to conceive and maintain a healthy environment for this little bean. I have a lot more posts to share that I've been writing over the last 12 weeks, but we're very excited (and I'm a little nervous/anxious) to have this shot at being parents again!!
  • Last but not least, one month of compliance with my treatments since my birthday
In honor of our beautiful children, I've been working really hard over the last month to remain complain with my treatments. It was especially hard to hook myself up and shake tonight after such a long, draining (but super fun) day, but it's all for Tim & our kids! :) I plan to keep this streak up for a long time!!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

29 Years

I've now been on this earth for 29 whole years. I'm sure when I was born, I wasn't "supposed to" live this long....take that CF! Right now, the median life expectancy for someone with CF is about 40. Better live up these last eleven years....kidding! I plan to surpass that "limit" too. It's weird to think that next year I'll be 30. I thought we'd be done having kids by now and just spend the rest of our lives raising them, but obviously that's not the way things are going, and that's okay!

I'm very lucky and thankful to be as healthy as I am today. Ten years ago I never imagined I would be where I am today. I thankful to have Kalydeco to help keep me stable so that I am able to raise a family, work full time and live a full life. So, for the next year, I plan to be 100% compliant with my treatments. I want my last year in my twenties to be a positive push in the direction of my health. I'd really like to start regularly exercising, but that one is always harder for me for some reason. One step at a time, back on track with 100% compliance (although, I'd say I've probably been around 90-95% lately).

Thanks to everyone who went out of their way to tell me happy birthday today - you sure know how to make a girl feel loved. Anna and I spent the day with Tim's grandma while Tim was at work. We went to a baseball game last night with his sister, her husband and their two boys. After the game we were able to see an excellent nearby firework show. Since we were going to get back late, it was smarter for us to stay in town for the night. Today we had a nice, relaxing day, and then a long crabby evening from all three of us! We're all exhausted and worn out, but I wouldn't have it any other way....well, maybe without the two hour meltdown from the almost three year old!

Love my life. Love my family. Here's to another healthy, happy year. :-)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Clinic

Thursday I had my routine clinic appointment in Chicago. Thankfully it wasn't until noon, and I was able to drop Anna off with a friend so I didn't have to take her with me - it's too much for her. I was looking forward to this appointment because I hadn't seen Dr. Dowell since we lost the twins, so I knew we'd need to talk about that. Of course when we did, we both got emotional - had a little cry and a hug. :) She told me, "You didn't have the rug pull out from under you, you had the whole floor!" And I completely agree. I love the relationship that I have with her and that we can talk so easily.

Health-wise, everything is looking good. My lung function is stable (up a tiny bit) and my weight is, too. Dr. was pleased with how I'm doing and won't see me back until September. It was a pretty non-eventful appointment, which is always a good thing. :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer Time!

I can't believe I've been on summer break for almost three weeks already. I feel like we've been so busy, but haven't accomplished much at the same time.

I think we've been to our local zoo at least twice, checked out a different zoo with cousins, been to the pool twice, set up our own pool last night, and are doing Anna's last session of swim lessons before she moves up to the "big kid" class. We've signed up for two summer reading programs and continue to keep track of Anna's 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten (just finished 500!). We've played and visited with friends a lot and even have gone to a couple "mini camps" at our local nature center.

Anna's at such a fun age this summer! She understands a lot more and is so curious about everything. It's been fun keeping busy with her, but still having some lazy afternoons in between. With the heat we've been taking it easy and staying inside a lot, or in a pool, because I can't stand the heat. Anna doesn't mind to sweat and get dirty, but Mommy's not a fan.

We don't have any huge plans for the summer, not vacations this year. I'm sure most of our summer will be consumed by the above-mentioned things, which is totally fine with me. There are a few things I want to do with her specifically this summer, so we're slowly working on checking things off of that list. Our local moms group also has a town "summer bucket list" of local activities, so we're working on that, too. I love that our town as so many cute little fun things to do for the kids.

I'll definitely be soaking up every minute with my little lady this summer before we both have school in the fall. Since we'll be in the same district, we both start on the same day, meaning I can't bring her to school on her first day! :( Although, I will be able to pick her up! I can't believe she's going to be starting preschool in just two short months, but I'm so excited for her. As much as I know she'll love it, I don't want to rush this summer along any faster than it's already going! :)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

All the Feels

Today (Wednesday, May 24) brings up a lot of emotions for me (seems to be the trend lately!) and this is the way that I've learned how to process them all.

  • Last day with JD and others at Parsons
Today is my last day of my fifth year of teaching. Today is also the last day of several of my coworkers in our building. We have several people leaving our school because they have either accepted a different job within the district, or for some, out of the district. 
One of those people is our principal. I have been SO lucky to work under such an amazing leader and boss, who has become a good friend. I'll never forget my interview at his school (it was so hot & I was in a pants suit!) and leaving there thinking about how bad I wanted that position. When he called me to offer me the position, I'll always remember the excitement I felt! I was like a kid on Christmas morning! I couldn't wait to start in my first classroom as a kindergarten teacher. I appreciate him giving me the opportunity to begin my career under his leadership. He has taught me so much about myself as an educator and as a person. I appreciate his constructive criticism, advice, humor, guidance, compassion, understanding, support and friendship over the last five years. Our building will absolutely never be the same without him and his strong personality, but I'm happy to see him moving on and up to something he's passionate about - helping others and supporting teachers.
There are several other people moving on from our building, some who have become good friends as well. I really hope we're able to keep in touch despite our busy schedules and growing families. Next school year is going to be very strange walking into our school without these guys, and seeing so many new faces. I don't do well with change sometimes and it's definitely going to be an adjustment. 

  • 35 weeks
Today I would have been 35 weeks pregnant with the twins (can you imagine how huge I'd be?!). I remember counting ahead when I was pregnant to figure out if/when I'd take some time off at the end of the school year to relax before the babies were born. 35 weeks is the national average for twin delivery, so I feel like if I was still pregnant, they really would have been coming any day. Now is when they were supposed to be born, not three months ago. I was supposed to spend my summer juggling nursing two newborn little boys and entertaining a toddler, but that's never going to happen. I really try not to dwell on moments like this, but over the next few weeks - when they should have been making their arrival - they're going to be on my mind A LOT. 

  • IVF/Retrieval
Instead of preparing for the birth of our boys, we're now preparing for another pregnancy. It feels like we're back at square one, starting all over again. It's exciting and scary all at the same time. Tomorrow morning we'll go in to have all of my follicles removed and fertilized for the next few days under the careful watch of our fertility clinic. We are so lucky to have them fairly local and I cannot thank them enough for helping us have our beautiful children. It sucks to have to start all over again, but the way things are going, we'll hopefully have some exciting news to share this summer. 
I know I've written about it before, but the idea of being pregnant again brings up mixed emotions. Of course we'd be very excited to add to our family, but there's always going to be doubt in my mind that I'll be able to carry the baby full term again. Thankfully I have an amazing team of high-risk doctors who better know I'll be calling them for everything this time around! I know I'll be in good hands and closely monitored, but it still makes me nervous that we could have a similar outcome.
But right now I need to focus on "the now" and not stress about things I cannot control, which is very hard for me to do, but I'm trying. I'm glad to have the summer off work now to help me relax. :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Our Infertility Journey: Round Three, Part Two

Click here for Part One

Wednesday, April 12
I received my IVF calendar/schedule and meds list in the mail yesterday. It's slowly starting to feel more real! I also have two appointments scheduled already over the next few weeks. Next week, Tim and I both have to go in for blood work and I'm also getting an ultrasound. Then about a month from now, I have my baseline scan and blood work scheduled.
According to the schedule, it looks like transfer and retrieval are going to be around the end of the school year and into Memorial Day weekend. I might have to miss the last day or two of school, but I'm okay with that. I just need to find a sub who'll cover for me on the days I'll have scans.
I'm still currently waiting to get my second period, but it should be here any day now.

Wednesday, April 19
Finally, my second period started a few days ago on Sunday and I began taking my birth control on Monday. Tim and I had to get initial blood work done today (they had to stick me three times & dig around, ugh!) and they did a saline ultrasound on me to make sure everything looked okay down there after the miscarriage. Thankfully, everything looked great and we are on track to being IVF on May 12! On that day, I'll have my baseline scan and labs to begin the IVF process. Between now and then, I'll make sure that I get all of my meds through the mail-order fertility pharmacy and continue the birth control until May 9.

Friday, April 21
I'm getting a bit nervous about being pregnant again. I'm so worried that every little thing I feel is going to make me think something is wrong. I keep telling Tim that if I get pregnant this summer, I'm just going to lay around all summer and not strain myself at all. I'm worried that my cervix won't hold up and that being checked every two weeks won't be often enough. Just under two weeks went by between the last time I was checked and when the boys were unexpectedly born. I'm worried about going back to work if/when I get pregnant, especially in the heat - thank goodness I have that room air conditioner!
Even with all of these worries, I am SO excited to get pregnant again. I can't wait to have more kids! I'm really, really hopeful that it's going to work on the first try. I hope that my body responds appropriately to all of the hormones and medications (wow, that med list is LONG!), that I don't get too over-stimulated, and that we have several embryos that survive. If we do have more than one, we plan on freezing the extras to implant at a later date to have more children through a frozen transfer cycle.
Oh, one of my other worries, of course, is getting pregnant with twins. Now I'm pretty sure everyone on the staff knows that we are planning on only transferring and implanting ONE embryo, but I still have that fear that it'll split into identical twins - there's no way to control that. I don't know what I'd do if I found out it was twins again - I'd be terrified! Of course, we'd deal with it, and I really wouldn't want to move my entire pregnancy, but I could never go the route of 'selective reduction'. So right now, I'm really hoping that it works on the first try and we get pregnant with ONE little bean this time around. :)

Monday, May 1
We're officially in IVF month. In February, when we first met with the clinic, May seemed so far away, but here we are less than two weeks away from my baseline scan. Over the last week or so, I've been back and forth with the fertility pharmacy and the fertility clinic making sure that the correct meds are ordered and covered by insurance. IVF has a lot more medications than my IUIs, so making phone calls without my list is impossible. Unfortunately, one of my meds, Lupron, isn't covered by my insurance. I called the fertility clinic this afternoon to see if there's a replacement drug available, because I'm not paying $649 out of pocket for it! In the meantime, the fertility pharmacy is going to mail me all of the meds that have been approved by insurance this week. Hopefully this will help narrow down what's left. Thank goodness they ship quickly in case we need something last minute - I feel like next Friday is going to be here before we know it.

Right now the plan is to continue birth control until May 9th, then I should start my period. On May 12th I'll go in for my baseline scan (ultrasound to check that I don't have any cysts or anything that'll prevent us from moving forward) and labs (to make sure my hormone levels are in check). Then, they'll tell me exactly which medications I'll be taking, how much, and when to begin, to stimulate follicle growth. The nice part about going through the IVF process is that we can harvest eggs from both ovaries this time (unlike IUI where eggs on my right side were useless because I don't have a fallopian tube there), so hopefully we'll get a lot!

Thursday, May 4
I'm getting stressed out already, and I don't like it! I've been playing phone tag with my fertility clinic over the last four days trying to figure out if I have the right medications. They've been returning my afternoon calls the following morning....while I'm working.

I got a shipment of meds yesterday in the mail, and two of them were not on my original list of meds that I'd be getting. It's worrying me that I just paid $80 for these two (plus $105 for others) and they aren't even what I need. I'm sure there's no return policy!

Monday, May 8
Thankfully I was able to get in contact with someone at my clinic on Friday and discovered that the two meds that weren't listed were basically just generic brands for medications I needed, so we're good! Now the issue is that one of my hormone levels on my blood work from April was a bit high. This means I'm at a higher risk for hyper-stimulating. If this happened, then I'd have to trigger with a specific shot, one that's not covered by insurance and is $649. It also means that if I did hyper-stimulate, they may follow through with the retrieval of eggs, but may need to freeze any embryos to implant them the next cycle, to allow my body to recover from the over stimulation.

All of these unknown factors are making me a bit nervous, but I'm definitely not as stressed about everything as I felt on Thursday of last week. Tomorrow is my last day of birth control, then I'm expecting to get my period on Wednesday/Thursday and I'll be going in to get my baseline scan and labs done on Friday. This is also when I'll be learning all about what medications I'll begin taking and injecting. It's getting close....

Friday, May 12
I'm so happy to not be feeling stressed out right now!! I had my baseline scan and labs this morning and everything looked great on my scan. They even were able to get my vein in one poke (with some maneuvering), so I'd call it a success. One of the nurses was able to answer all of my questions in the office, and then they told me they'd call me this afternoon to tell me my instructions based on my lab results.
Well, just got my call from the clinic and I'll only be doing two shots per day - how easy is that?! I'll also be taking an oral antibiotic (Tim, too) for ten days while preparing for retrieval. So, starting tonight, I'll be doing Gonal-F and Menopur injections each evening, and I'll be going back on Wednesday (today's Friday) to see how I'm progressing. Thanks to one of my favorite techs, she's going to scan me at 7:15am so that I can get my blood work and get back to work as soon as possible.
The tricky part about all of this is that I'll have to be seen a lot by my fertility clinic so they can monitor my follicles and ovaries very carefully to watch for hyper-stimulation, so that means lots of trips to Springfield which is 45 minutes one-way, and also some time from work. Thankfully I have amazing and very understanding co-workers who are willing to step in and help watch my class while I have to be out so much.

Wednesday, May 17
Up bright and early (as usual) to get to Springfield and back this morning without missing too much work. Of course I had a dream last night that I ended up taking a school bus there instead of driving, and we got lost out in the middle of no where. By the time we got to Springfield, I learned that their clinic had moved to Decatur, actually in the office of my school building (convenient, huh?!). Can you tell I'm stressed about being late to work?! I feel bad, but appreciate SO much, that people are giving up their plan times to watch my kids so that I don't have to get a random sub for an hour.

Anyway, I'll be leaving in less than an hour to head to Springfield. I'm hoping to be the first one there so I can get in and out quickly. They'll be doing an internal ultrasound to look at my ovaries and count & measure the follicles that are growing inside. I'm so excited to be able to consider BOTH sides this time around, something we've never been able to do before. Then I'll be getting blood work done - they usually struggle to find a vein - to check/monitor my hormone levels. I'm guessing, just like on Friday, that they'll meet with the doctor after lunch and call me this afternoon to update me on my information and any changes I'll have to make.

Good news, everything seems to progressing as it should! :) I was indeed the first one there and had my scan quickly. I had 18 follicles, 8 on one side and 10 on the other. They were pleased to see that I didn't have any giant ones, so I'm guessing that means I'm not hyper-stimulating...yet. For some reason they always struggle to take my blood. It took three people and three pokes to finally get a vein. They better get it together because I'm going to be back a lot over the next few weeks!
One of the nurses called this afternoon and told me to continue both of my shots (Gonal-F & Menopur), keeping the dosage the same, and to return on Friday morning. That will be one week into the shots, and I'm curious to see how much will change in two days. I'm already going on day six tonight. This retrieval is going to be here before too long!

Friday, May 19
I had another scan with labs this morning. Thankfully they are so flexible and didn't even care that I showed up a half hour before my scheduled time so I could get back to work. AND, they even got my vein on the first poke!
I had three measurable follicles on each side today. This surprised me, especially since I thought I had 18 just two days ago. But I tried not to stress too much about it - we only need ONE.
After speaking with one of the nurses this afternoon, things seem to be progressing well. I'm now adding another injection to my nightly routine - Cetrotide. It's supposed to help the eggs mature, but keep me from ovulating too soon. I'll be going back to the fertility clinic on Sunday morning for my next check.
Retrieval is coming up quick. Tonight was my 8th night of injections. Let's hope that the six eggs that are growing continue to grow and mature like they're supposed to, and maybe a couple more will sprout up by Sunday. The more eggs they retrieve, the greater chance we have of a good quality egg fertilizing and developing before they transfer it back into my uterus.

Sunday, May 21
More labs and another ultrasound this morning. It was packed!! I didn't think it would be so busy on a Sunday, but I think every woman going through IVF was there this morning. Thankfully I didn't have to rush in and out to get back to work because they were a bit slow-moving because they were so busy.
Today I had 10 measurable follicles. :) Two of them are pretty big already and the rest vary in size. They want me to continue my three injections tonight and come back tomorrow morning for another scan and labs. Right now, it looks like I'll be having my retrieval on Wednesday (last day of school). And, good news, it looks like I won't have to pay $649 for a Lupron trigger shot!!! So far my hormone levels have been normal and I'm not hyper-stimulating, so I can trigger with Ovidrel which I already have in my fridge!
I'm getting excited for my retrieval because I'm anxious to see how many follicles they can harvest. I hope we have good quality embryos, but I just have to keep reminding myself that we just only need one....and hope that it takes when they put it back in.

Tuesday, May 23
I'm am completely over driving back and forth to Springfield and getting poked a million times, but we're having good results, so I really shouldn't/can't complain. Yesterday, my follicles were similar in size to Sunday, so they wanted me to do my three shots again last night and come back today to see if they got any bigger - they sure did! The nurse who did my ultrasound, Holly (my favorite!), told me that I looked great and was definitely ready for retrieval after today's scan. They were able to get my blood after one poke today (took FOUR yesterday), so I took today's appointment as a definite win...especially because they told me that I have about 15 follicles!! Of course not all of them are mature enough, so they're guessing they'll be able to retrieve about 12 good ones. I can't wait! I really hope things go well. :)
So, I'm all set for retrieval on Thursday. I have to do two trigger shots tonight (the ones I already have, NOT the $649 one - woo hoo!) and then go in tomorrow morning to make sure my hormones are reacting appropriately to the trigger shot. Then Tim and I will go in on Thursday morning for the retrieval. After they take out my eggs, Tim will do his part and then they'll try to fertilize all of the mature eggs. From there, we wait 3-5 days to see which one(s) develop properly into embryos and they'll put one back in when it's ready. If we do have any left over good quality embryos, Tim and I plan to freeze them to transfer (one at a time) at a later date.
I am getting really excited to see how this all pans out over the next few weeks! This whole process has definitely been more involved than an IUI, but it really hasn't been as tough as I expected it to be...so far. The injections have been manageable (I've done 26 so far, plus the two triggers tonight); I'm so thankful that I haven't over-stimulated; and I'm also so thankful that I have been responding to the injections appropriately.
And a HUGE shout-out to my work family for helping cover my kiddos over the last two weeks when I've had to come a little late on some days. I really, really appreciate you understanding that I need to go through this to help grow our little family.


From here I'll begin recording "part three" and will hopefully share it if/when we get some good news. :)